How personality, demographics, and technology affinity affect trust in autonomous vehicles: a case study
Authors: Saeedeh Mosaferchi, Rosaria Califano, Alessandro Naddeo
Abstract: Autonomous vehicles’ companies are awakening of cutting-edge technology by offering self-driving cars, however, customers’ acceptance and trust of this high-tech product has become a significant open challenge in the world. It can be expected that autonomous vehicles (AVs) ameliorate traffic flow, lessen accidents and injuries, and save the time on travel in addition to people’s life. Despite the increment of human replacement by the artificial intelligence in various industries and artifacts, most customers have not convinced with this big revolutionize transportation yet. This paper presents an experiment that evaluated the impact of personality, affinity to technology and demographics on human’s trust in autonomous vehicles. Methods: 19 engineering students did participate in the experiment by using an autonomous vehicle with level 2, that had automated speed and trajectory maintenance, but without automatic detection for obstacles, objects or events while driving. First, the AV programmer explained its function and information about the track for all participants. Then, they were asked to answer to 9 questions of Affinity for Technology Interaction (ATI) scale, 17 demographic questions, and 10 questions of Big Five Questionnaire (BFQ). Afterwards, all participants rode 10-minute path in a pre-defined rout by accompaniment of the AV programmer to control probable dangerous situations. Finally, they completed Trust in Automation Scale questionnaire. Gathering data was analysed using IBM SPSS 26. The mean and standard deviation were calculated for descriptive data and the Spearman for analytical data. Results: The analysis’ results showed a behavioural split (50/50) among people having and not having complete confidence in the autonomous vehicle. Nervous people trust the AV less than others, like people with little or no experience in using an AV. As well, the more transparency in the AV’s behaviours and presenting information about it, the more trust and security perception of participants. People with high level of technology affinity experienced more trust in the AV, as the effect of frequent exposures with an AV. It’s worth mentioning that females are more conservative and prefer to trust an AV less than males. Conclusions: The results indicated that various variables could affect people’s trust in AVs. Obviously, changing people’s demographics and some aspects of personality seem to be impossible most of the times, while as approved by other recent studies, their affinity to technology, as a new type of personality, can change or be changed. As the results showed, it is recommended to AVs companies to design a good system in the vehicle, in order to present all information to passengers clearly. In addition, if some conditions are provided that people can test these vehicles and know more about their functions in detail, their trust will definitely increase significantly.
Keywords: Autonomous vehicle, trust, Technology Affinity
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